1939 - March. Hitler's forces entered the Czech capital,
27th April - Military Training Act - Men of 20 and 21 were required to undertake six months of military training.
1st August. London Gazette.
23rd August - German - Russian non-agression pact was signed.
September - Government passed the National Registration Act whereby every citizen had to have an Identity Card.
1st September - Germany invaded Poland.
3rd September - Britain and France declared war on Germany.
27th September - Warsaw was overrun by Germany.
13th December - Battle of the River Plate - German pocket battleship "Graf Spee" was scuttled.
The IRA began a bombing campaign on the British mainland.
Names, reading left to right are - Back Row. Olive Pigg, Audrey Ward, Dorothy Drury, Barbara Peacock, Lena Winter, Betty Brown, Gordon Hessay.
Middle Row. Graham Matheson, Tony Watts, Alan Ward, Keith Walker, John Harding, Billy Dale, Roy Young, James Corner.
Front Row. Norman Judson, Norman Robinson and Eric Garret [Famous Opera Star, see emails page 6.].
[Photograph kindly contributed by Alan Ward, third from left, middle row.]
|1940 - 8th January - Just four months after the war
started food rationing came into force and a black market
Restrictions were made on the following items and each person was allowed per week - 4 ounces of butter/lard, 12 ounces of sugar, 4 ounces of bacon/ham, 2 eggs.
11th March - Meat rationing started.
9th April - Germans invaded Denmark and Norway.
10th May - German Army invaded France, Belgium, Luxembourg and
14th May - The Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden made a radio
appeal for men to become Local Defence Volunteers.
||They were not usually the old men of "Dads Army" and in this
area many were young men who worked in the vital occupations
of ironstone miner and steelworker.
"I went down to Middlesbrough twice during the War to
enlist in the Army," says one, who was 18 at the time,
After Dunkirk, thousands of these Home Guards were readied along the coasts for an expected invasion.
15th May - Holland capitulated.
28th May - Belgium capitulated.
May. - The evacuation of Dunkirk.
||The following six Skelton men of the Green Howards (Yorkshire
Regiment) were killed covering the retreat of
the British Expeditionary Force from Belgium and during the evacuation
4386274 L/Cpl Sydney Colin Brown, 4th Battalion.
53786 Serjeant William Calvert Danby, 5th Battalion.
4386349 Serjeant Percy Rayner, 4th Bn.
4386726 WO II [Company Serjeant Major] Robert Shaw, 4th
||Son of Walter and Elizabeth Shaw; husband of Ethel Shaw, of
Grave Plot 2. Row A. Grave 11. Athies Communal Cemetery Extension. Click to see his memorial.
4390693 Pte Harold Smith, 4th Battalion.
4387164 Pte John William Walker, 4th Battalion.
Many returned wounded. Alan Ward remembers Arthur Sleeman and
Bill Abrams of Robinson St, Skelton.
||10th June - Norway capitulated. Italy declared war on Britain
14th June - Germans took control of Paris.
22nd June - France capitulated.
10th July - The Battle of Britain began.
13th Aug - Luftwaffe began raids on British airfields and aircraft factories.
25th Aug - Royal Air Force mounted reprisal raid against Berlin.
27th August - The following Skelton man was killed in N Africa
Son of William Edward and Margaret Elizabeth Flower, of High Green,
Grave: XXX. J. 25, El Alamein War Cemetery. Click to see his memorial.
7th Sept - Italian Army attacked Egypt.
10th November - Royal Air Force raid crippled the Italian fleet at Taranto.